Before we buckle up for a fall season of prestige dramas and Oscar-bait-Meryl-Streep-vehicles, it's important to take stock of the year so far in cinema. There's been some fantastic documentaries and stand out horror films, with mostly predictable fodder in between.
It's been a summer of lackluster Blockbusters -- Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom all failed to deliver anything that validated their existence. Some flashier titles like Avengers: Infinity Wars and Oceans 8 were close to cracking my list, but neither did anything unexpected with their wildly talented pool of actors.
It's time for WUSSY's roundup of the best films of 2018 (so far)!
If you disagree with our picks, sound off in the comments!
If you're active on social media or gayTwitter, you've probably seen a few "holy shit" posts regarding Hereditary. Like most instant classics, this new horror/suspense film starring goddess Toni Collette is completely polarising.
Full of gag-worthy twists and truly terrifying performances, Hereditary is up there with Get Out, It Follows, and The Babadook as one of the best horror movies of the decade. Some audiences were disappointed by the lack of jump scares and traditional horror thrills, but this film is a slow burn -- one that sticks with you far longer than you want it to.
The Academy is generally unkind to horror films, but if Toni Collette isn't nominated for Best Actress, I will have someone's head. Also, let's give Alyssa Edwards a Sound Design nomination for that *tongue pop*!
After his brief but powerful introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is back in his own title film. The film is a splashy epic of black excellence, with a cast of heavy hitters like Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita N'yongo. Letitia Wright was a standout as T'Challa's badass and brainy sister, Shuri, who is basically the "Q" to T'Challa's James Bond.
Black Panther is still the highest grossing film of 2018, proving that the world is ready for more diversity in our superhero movies. I've never anticipated a Marvel release as much as this one, and Black Panther more than delivers on its promise.
Will the Academy recognize a standout comic book film for Best Picture this year?
A lot of queer people wrote this film off as just-another-cis-white-gay-love-story, and while it is certainly not a perfect film, I would argue it is still remarkable. Fox's clever marketing strategy and the choice to make this a wide release is something that has never been seen before for a LGBTQ+ film.
When I was in high school, I remember sneaking in to see Brokeback Mountain with a close girlfriend during its limited release. We were the only ones in the theatre and I was so nervous someone would see us. This year, I saw Love, Simon in a theatre full of diverse teenagers, and it was moving to hear them audibly cheer when the film reaches its cavity-inducing conclusion.
Queer representation on the big screen still has a long way to go, but this type of representation saves lives.
A Quiet Place
Another wholly satisfying horror flick released this year was A Quiet Place.
Directed by and starring mega-cutie John Krasinski, the film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where people must avoid making noise in order to avoid a mysterious terror in the woods.
Millicent Simmonds (who you might remember from Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck) is a standout as Regan, the defiant and deaf child of Krasinski and Emily Blunt's characters. The film's expert sound design (and lack thereof) dials the suspense up over 9000 and makes A Quiet Place one of the most fun and terrifying films of the past few years.
Won't You Be My Neighbor
It's been a great summer of documentaries, with RGB and The Gospel According to Andre, but Won't You Be My Neighbor stands out at the top. A moving portrait of a man that spent so much time nurturing America's children, the film is a delicate mixture of personal interviews and archival footage.
Actor François Clemmons, who played the neighborhood police office, has arguably the most powerful on screen interviews. He recalls coming out as homosexual to Fred Rogers, and being asked to keep that a secret. This raises interesting concerns over Mr. Rogers' motto of "I love you just the way you are". The film carefully dissects this motto and the criticisms and implications that attitude may have had on a generation of young people.
Mr. Rogers wasn't a perfect man, but he was damn close. Bring tissues.
6. First Reformed
10. The Tale